October 26, 2016
        "The Circle" and "The Lost City of Z": Which potential 2016 contenders got bumped to 2017?                Natalie Portman, Janelle Monáe, Matthew McConaughey, Bryce Dallas Howard, Edgar Ramirez, Stacy Keach at Hollywood Film Awards                Viola Davis will be campaigned in Best Supporting Actress for "Fences"                Mel Gibson to be Honored with the Hollywood Director Award at the 20th Annual Hollywood Film Awards                Michael Moore drops a surprise new film with "Michael Moore in TrumpLand"                Hollywood Contenders: New Oscar Predictions for October                Nicole Kidman, Hugh Grant, Naomie Harris, Lily Collins get Honors at 20th Annual Hollywood Film Awards                "Manchester by the Sea" leads the Gotham Award nominations                Tom Ford, Marc Platt and Kenneth Lonergan to be Honored at 20th Annual Hollywood Film Awards                Tom Cruise is in his action hero comfort zone with "Jack Reacher: Never Go Back"                "Moonlight" could be A24's big Oscar horse this year                Ewan McGregor steps behind the camera with "American Pastoral"                Hollywood Contenders: A second crack at Golden Globe predictions for 2016                "The Accountant" seeks to help give Ben Affleck another blockbuster                85 countries will be competing for Best Foreign Language Feature nominations at the Oscars        

“The Descendants,” “Shame” leading pack of Austin Film Fest selections – AWARDS ALLEY

By Sean O’Connell
Hollywoodnews.com: A handful of stellar titles with Oscar aspirations have been programmed into this year’s Austin Film Festival schedule, which begins on Oct. 20 with an as-yet-unnamed Opening Night selection.

In between, AFF audiences will get their first looks at Alexander Payne’s “The Descendants,” Steve McQueen’s “Shame,” Lynne Ramsay’s “We Need to Talk About Kevin,” Rodrigo Garcia’s “Albert Nobbs” and Sean Durkin’s “Martha Marcy May Marlene” – all films with awards hopes that will screen as part of the festival’s Marquee category.

“We’re proud to be taking our program in some exciting new directions while maintaining our focus on strong writing and engaging stories,” said new Film Programmers Stephen Jannise and Stephen Belyeu.

In addition, the fest has set up special screenings of “Toy Story” (presented by John Lasseter), an “Edward Scissorhands” screening, and a tribute to Polly Platt with a presentation by Luke Wilson and Wes Anderson.

Below is a listing of AFF’s film lineup. For a complete lineup, also visit austinfilmfestival.com.


THE DESCENDANTS ­ Alexander Payne (Writer/Director), Nat Faxon, Jim Rash (Writers) ­ stars George Clooney – Regional Premiere
SHAME ­ Steve McQueen (Wrtier/Director), Abi Morgan (Writer) ­ stars Michael Fassbender and Carey Mulligan – Regional Premiere
THE WOMAN IN THE FIFTH ­ Pawel Pawlikowski (Writer/Director), Douglas Kennedy (Writer) ­ stars Ethan Hawke – Regional Premiere
SAL ­ James Franco (Wrtier/Director/Actor), Vince Jolivette, Stacey Miller (Writers) ­ Regional Premiere
JEFF, WHO LIVES AT HOME ­ Jay Duplass, Mark Duplass (Writer/Directors) ­ stars Jason Segel, Ed Helms, and Susan Sarandon – Regional Premiere
CORIOLANUS ­ Ralph Fiennes (Director), John Logan (Writer) ­ stars Ralph Fiennes, Gerard Butler, and Jessica Chastain – Regional Premiere
WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT KEVIN ­ Lynne Ramsey (Writer/Director), Rory Kinnear (Writer) ­ stars John C. Reilly and Tilda Swinton – Regional Premiere
LIKE CRAZY ­ Drake Doremus (Writer/Director), Ben York Jones (Writer) ­ Regional Premiere
MARTHA MARCY MAY MARLENE ­ Sean Durkin (Writer/Director) ­ Regional Premiere
PARIAH ­ Dee Rees (Writer/Director) ­ Regional Premiere
ALBERT NOBBS ­ Rodrigo Garcia (Director), Glenn Close, John Banville (Writers)
CINEMA IS EVERYWHERE ­ Teal Greyhavens (Director) ­ U.S. Premiere
6 MONTH RULE ­ Blayne Weaver (Writer/Director) ­ World Premiere
AFTER FALL, WINTER ­ Eric Schaeffer (Writer/Director) ­ Regional Premiere
AGE OF CHAMPIONS ­ Chris Rufo (Director) ­ Regional Premiere
ALL I KNOW: THE CASTLE SESSIONS ­ Holly Bronko (Director) ­ World Premiere
AMERICAN TEACHER ­ Vanessa Roth, Brian McGinn (Directors) ­ Regional Premiere
THE BULLY PROJECT ­ Lee Hirsch (Director) ­ Regional Premiere
THE CONQUEST OF HIGH PASSES ­ Wout Conijn (Director) ­ Regional Premiere
HELL AND BACK AGAIN ­ Danfung Dennis (Director) ­ Regional Premiere
JIRO DREAMS OF SUSHI ­ David Gelb (Director) ­ Regional Premiere
LET GO ­ Brian Jett (Writer/Director) ­ World Premiere
MANENBERG ­ Christian Vium, Karen Waltorp (Directors) ­ U.S. Premiere
PUSH: MADISON VERSUS MADISON ­ Rudy Hypolite (Director) ­ Regional Premiere
SAWDUST CITY ­ David Nordstrom (Writer/Director) ­ Regional Premiere
SHAKESPEARE HIGH ­ Alex Rotaru (Director) ­ Regional Premiere
WISH ME AWAY ­ Bobbie Birleffi, Beverly Kopf (Directors) ­ Regional Premiere
YOU HURT MY FEELINGS ­ Steve Collins (Writer/Director) ­ Regional Premiere
ROADIE ­ Michael Cuesta (Writer/Director), Gerald Cuesta (Writer) ­ Regional Premiere
DESPICABLE DICK AND RIGHTEOUS RICHARD ­ Joshua Neale (Director) ­ Regional Premiere

John Lasseter presents… Toy Story
Caroline Thompson presents… Edward Scissorhands
A Tribute to Polly Platt presented by Luke Wilson with special taped intro by Wes Anderson ­ Bottle Rocket
An Afternoon of Nicholas Ray: Don’t Expect Too Much & We Can’t Go Home Again presented with the Harry Ransom Center

FREAK DANCE ­ Matt Besser (Writer/Director), Neil Mahoney (Director) ­ World Premiere
FRED & VINNIE ­ Fred Stoller (Writer), Steve Skrovan (Director) ­ Regional Premiere
HIGH ROAD ­ Matt Walsh (Writer/Director), Josh Weiner (Writer) ­ Regional Premiere
TREATMENT ­ Sean Nelson (Writer/Director), Steven Schardt (Director) ­ Regional Premiere

BELOW ZERO ­ Justin Thomas Ostensen (Director), Signe Olynyk (Writer) ­ U.S. Premiere
BENEATH THE DARKNESS ­ Martin Guigui (Director), Bruce Wilkinson (Writer) ­ World Premiere
DEADHEADS ­ Brett Pierce, Drew Pierce (Writers/Directors)
SOME GUY WHO KILLS PEOPLE ­ Jack Perez (Director), Ryan Levin (Writer)

PUSS IN BOOTS ­ Chris Miller (Director), Brian Lynch, David H. Steinberg, Tom Wheeler, Jon Zack (Writers) ­ Regional Premiere
INUK ­ Mike Magidson (Writer/Director), Jean-Michel Huctin (Writer) ­ Regional Premiere
SMALL AND CREEPY FILMS ­ A collection of short films, curated by Distinguished Screenwriter Awardee Caroline Thompson, Steve Nicolaides and Micah Van Hove

AUSTIN HIGH ­ Alan Deutsch (Director), Will Elliott, Kirk C. Johnson (Writers) ­ World Premiere
DEEP IN THE HEART ­ Christopher Cain (Director), Josh Fasulo, Brian A. Hoffman (Writers) ­ World Premiere
AN ORDINARY FAMILY ­ Mike Akel (Writer/Director), Matt Patterson (Writers)
SEARCHING FOR SONNY ­ Andrew Disney (Writer/Director) ­ World Premiere
SIRONIA ­ Brandon Dickerson (Writer/Director), Thomas Ward, Wes Cunningham (Writers) ­ World Premiere
STRINGS ­ Mark Dennis (Writer/Director), Ben Foster (Director) ­ Regional Premiere
A SWINGIN’ TRIO ­ Kelvin Phillips (Writer/Director) ­ World Premiere
UNCERTAIN, TX ­ Eric Steele (Writer/Director), Hunter Wood (Writer) ­ World Premiere

THE DYNAMITER ­ Matthew Gordon (Director), Brad Ingelsby (Writer) ­ Regional Premiere
HAROLD’S GOING STIFF ­ Keith Wright (Writer/Director) ­ U.S. Premiere
LEILA ­ Lesley Manning (Writer/Director) ­ U.S. Premiere
OK, ENOUGH, GOODBYE ­ Rania Attieh, Daniel Garcia (Writers/Directors) ­ Regional Premiere
RESTIVE ­ Jeremiah Jones (Writer/Director) ­ Regional Premiere
SEAMONSTERS ­ Julian Kerridge (Writer/Director), Martin Sadofski (Writer) ­ U.S. Premiere
SOMEWHERE WEST ­ David Marek (Writer/Director), Adam Benn, Barrett Ogden, Judson Webb (Writers) ­ World Premiere
THE STAND UP ­ David Wexler (Writer/Director) ­ World Premiere
STUCK BETWEEN STATIONS ­ Brady Kiernan (Director), Nat Bennett, Sam Rosen (Writer) ­ Regional Premiere

ECSTASY OF ORDER: THE TETRIS MASTERS ­ Adam Cornelius (Director) ­ World Premiere
ONE NIGHT STAND ­ Elisabeth Sperling, Trish Dalton (Directors) ­ Regional Premiere
TOWNSHIP TO THE STAGE ­ David Meyer (Director) ­ World Premiere
THANK YOU FOR JUDGING ­ Michael Urie, Sean Fornara, Selma Al-Faqih, Travis Flournoy (Directors) ­ World Premiere
WHEN DREAMS TAKE FLIGHT ­ Sheona McDonald (Writer/Director) ­ World Premiere
DARWIN ­ Nick Brandestini (Director), Taylor Segrest (Writer) ­ Regional Premiere
STORIES FROM AN UNDECLARED WAR ­ Dennis Rice (Director) ­ Regional Premiere
GOOLD’S GOLD ­ Tucker Capps, Ryan Sevy (Directors) ­ Regional Premiere

Cast and crew attendance is subject to change and based on permitting schedules.

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About Sean O'Connell

Sean O'Connell is a nationally recognized film critic. His reviews have been published in print ('The Washington Post,' 'USA Today') and online (AMC FilmCritic.com, MSN's Citysearch) since 1996. He's a weekly contributor to several national radio programs. He is a longstanding member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association (BFCA), the Online Film Critics Society (OFCS), and the Southeastern Film Critics View all articles by Sean O'Connell Association (SEFCA).

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